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CNET News Video: Microsoft launches 3D photo viewer Photosynth
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CNET News Video: Microsoft launches 3D photo viewer Photosynth

2:34 /

Microsoft Live Labs' latest project is actually an old one with a new twist. Photosynth lets you stitch together an entire roll of photos into dazzling 3D environments. CNET News' Ina Fried sits down with Microsoft's Gary William Flake to chat about what you can do with this new technology.

[ Music ] >> Photosynth is a way for you to take many different photos and automatically, through the magic of the software, figure out how the photo especially relate one another to effectively synthesize something the 3D experience from which all the photos individually can be positioned. Any camera will do from a high-end SLR all the way down to a low-end camera phone. The technology that we're using is insensitive to lighting conditions and so you may have locked in and being able to synthesize a group of pictures that we're actually taken at different times of day, different cameras, different times of era even. So, what we have here is Stonehenge and, I think, a lot of people are familiar with seeing Stonehenge for a number of different views. I'm gonna show you a view that you'd probably hadn't seen before, and that is I'm gonna turn off the pictures and show what we call the point cloud, and the point cloud is really nothing more than the points within the scene that the photos on software found in multiple images. And so, looking at it in this way, you can really get a sense that we're actually recovering the 3D geometry from nothing more than two-dimensional photos. So, I can position myself to a different scene, and maybe go over here and then turn the photos back on to reveal, you know, the experience that was actually behind that point cloud. The key thing to keep in mind is that, if you wanna create a photosynth, the algorithms really do need for you to have a bunch of photos that are -- that have overlapped and so, you might wanna take a picture of the object from different positions, having sufficient overlap between the photos and also different zoom levels. That will give you the best experience of creating something that almost have -- has a video game like feel to it. So, what's really excited about -- exciting about this experience is that you can move about, like I said, just like a video game going in and out, we can also navigate through a couple different mechanisms. I can have arrow keys to move about or I can actually select key rectangles that have photos within them to dive into. So, right now, I sent of, you know, dozens of photos. It will just take a couple of minutes and then you get it to a hundred -- it's a few more minutes. It's quite feasible to run those -- that synthing software right on your own local machine. ^M00:02:29 [ Music ]

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